Ordinance obliging tavern keepers to take out a license and pay excise

Scanned Document:

The director general and council of New Netherland, to all those who shall see or hear this read, greetings.

Let it be known that they have been informed and told that diverse persons, within the city as well as in the countryside, in the villages and hamlets of this province, undertake and presume to open taverns, tap houses, and to retail beer and wine by the small measure, and to continue to do so without having applied for, or received any license from us or from those by us authorized, which is contrary to the good order and welfare of our fatherland. In addition to that, such tavemkeepers, tapsters and retailers of wine, beer and distilled spirits are opposed to, and refused to pay and satisfy the usual excise imposed on the consumption of wine and beer.

In order to prevent this, the director general and council of New Netherland do hereby ordain that no person within this province shall attempt to keep any tavern, tap house or peddle any beer, wine, brandy or distilled spirits by the small measure, before and until he has applied to and notified the director general and council, or their deputies, namely, the inferior court of the village to which he is subject, and, in addition, has entered with the farmer or his collector the beer, wine, brandies or distilled spirits to be laid in and consumed by him, and thereon paid, for the behoof of the public, the usual excise imposed thereon by the director general and council and publicly let to die highest bidder, whereof Wamaer Wessels is the farmer for the current year, and Jan Theunissen is, with the consent and approbation the aforesaid director general and council, his collector for the village of Vlissingen, on pain of forfeiting the wine, beer, brandy or distilled spirits and five times the value thereof in case any tavern keepers, tapsters or peddlers are found to have smuggled or laid in any beer, wine, brandy or distilled spirits without entry or excise permit, and 25 guilders additional, for the first offense, to be forfeited by those who attempt tapping or retailing of wine, beer or distilled spirits by the small measure without having requested and received a permit or a license for it from the director general and council or their qualified subaltern magistrates; the fine to be applied one-third for the officer who shall make the complaint, one-third for the farmer and one-third for the public.

Thus done in the session of the director general and council held in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 23rd of January 1657.[1]


Also in LO, 296-97. See LWA, 35 for prior ordinance.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.